Something Old

we drink because we’re poets Weekly Photo Challenge – 3: Old

“something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue…”

And there it was…something old!

In a world that exalts novelty…get this brand-new giggling joppity great new fantastically never seen before variation of our dish soap… where youth is the by-word and be all of our age…I propose that we look for the venerable!

My “something old” is this gorgeous, vintage sewing machine, lovingly donated to me when my old machine broke down by my dear friend.  It has since been again retired, but the beauty and power of this old machine can’t be matched.

Could we but mend our torn lives,
Patch the holes in our spirits,
Rethread our dreams
With such elegance as this.

Sister Moon

Inspired by we drink because we’re poets Monday Poetry Prompt #11

For today’s prompt, I would like you to pick an object – any object – and describe it.  But don’t just describe as you would to, let us say, a forensic sketch artist.  Describe as you would to a child with a penchant for fantasy.  What I mean is, describe it in metaphors and similes.  Transform its characteristics and use “like” and “as” to compare it something else.  Try to compare your chosen object to things it would be a stretch to compare it to in common conversations.

Oh dear, and I hope I’ve done that!

Sister Moon

A shining, pale platter,
Upon which, I dream,
May be found tea and cakes
And fresh, clotted cream.

Or perhaps a balloon
Sailing so very high;
I’m sure we can reach it
If we give it a try!

Then again, just perhaps
It’s a silvery nest
For night-birds and owls
In daytime to rest.

But, my sweetest, for you
It’s a light to shine bright
And keep you in peace
Throughout all the night.

For dear sister Moon
Still offers reflection
When the sun dips away
To hide golden complexion.

(and suddenly I’m imagining a children’s book where the characters fly to the moon on night-birds, and have tea and cakes, and play with balloons until the sun comes up and chases them all back to their beds.)

Behold my bad sticky-note art! 😀 (or at least, bad camera phone.  I’ll try to take a better picture with a better camera later.)

tothemoon

Okay, so I got a better shot of my doodle, and while I’m adding it so you can see the detail better, I’m leaving the ‘bad version’ because I honestly love how the moon looks like it’s really glowing above!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paradise, Farewell

Inspired by my sister’s prompt to write a story using the following words: adagio, skillet, hill, amazing, doughnut, lag, insulated, golden, uninspired, cage (any form of the words)

Sarah crouched down, looking over the many small items laid out on the cloth.  Beads, bits of pottery, stones, and other small and abundant pieces of antiquity.  One in particular caught her eye, a doughnut-shaped stone.  Her fingers traced its circle several times before one of the men, Renzo, picked it up.  He turned it over in his hands, brown with dirt and sun, before he set the stone into her palm.  It was heavier than it looked.  She held it up, smiling as the rays of the sun danced through the center.

“For you,” he said.  “A special gift before you leave us.”

A bright smile spread on her face and she gave him a hug.  Her father was still busy, hunched over his notebook, so she slipped it into her pocket and ran back into the tent. Among her collection of odds and ends she found a length of twine and looped it through the stone to form a pendant, then tied a knot in the other end and slipped it over her head and under her shirt. It felt cool against her chest.

Returning outside, she climbed the small hill to the south to get a better view of the excavation site, to cement it in her mind. The gridlines reminded her of a checker board, criss-crossing this way and that to help guide the archaeologists as they peeled back layers of history.  Each square was dug out with meticulous care, brush, trowel, and sieve in an adagio dance.

After three months here, it would be strange to go back home. School would feel like a cage; her senses locked up, dulled by the uniformity. None of her classmates would understand what it felt like to stand in the footprint of a house lived in two thousand years ago, insulated from time by a layer of ash and dust.

So many curiosities of times past had already been packaged and shipped off to the university where they would be cataloged and stored, or perhaps sent to museums to be put in uninspired displays on little white shelves as if they had not once been held and used.  But seeing the decayed remains of a wooden disk – carved like the sun and still holding to its golden overlay in places – could not compare to holding the pieces in your hand, turning them over and admiring the love that had gone into creating it.

Nothing at home could match the excitement of sleeping in a tent every night for a whole summer, swimming in blue-green waters as warm as a bath, or be more satisfying than a meal of fish caught that day and fried to perfection on the skillet.

Time had stopped here.  These months had been daily filled with new wonders and yet comforting familiarity, not the stagnancy of routine but the freshness of living without calendar or clock.  All she had to look forward to now was jet lag and the endless questions about her summer, most of which would be satisfied with the entirely unsatisfying answer of, “It was amazing.”

The real answers would have been uninteresting to most of the questioners.  The real answer was she would miss her father, and miss the others from the dig who had become her family, teaching and nurturing the ten-year-old in their midst.  There would be real pain from the invisible scar of parting this place, but the memories and knowledge she had gained would be with her forever.

A Sheep Date

This is the poem I had initially intended to write for the poetry prompt yesterday. It needed more than I could give it yesterday, but after a (surprisingly) good night’s sleep, it just flowed out. So this is my ode to my dear friend, and inspired by her picture:

 

https://i0.wp.com/s3.roosterteeth.com/images/BaghdadBean51d239eb475cb.jpg

Picture of my friend, Sgt. “Bean” Clayton, on her ranch.  Reposted with permission.

A Sheep Date

Woolly touch that creates a connection,
A gaze held between two sets of deep eyes, –
Picture of peace, of quiet reflection;
Beauty defined beneath Oregon skies.

A moment’s respite from the herd chasing,
This testament to the animal wife,
With one leg braced, the other embracing –
The shepherdess understands sheep is life.

These are the dreams I desire when I sleep:
Lakota dancing with Navajo sheep.

Beauty Sonnet

Today’s poetry prompt by we drink because we’re poets set forth the following challenge:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m going to keep it simple today. The objective of the prompt for next few days is to consider something that You find beautiful – whether it be a flower or an abandoned house; a cigarette filled cup or a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci – and write a sonnet about it. For those of you who have no idea what a sonnet is, please check out the example here at Shadow Poetry!

 

I must say, the poem I *started* to write was not the poem that came out, so I’ll have to go back and work on that, but in the mean time, this is the one that did come out.

Also, angry note to my neighbors: I DON’T CARE WHAT HOLIDAY IT IS, I STILL HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW!

 

Not A Feminist, But Still Indignant

Beauty – not that in the beholder’s eye,
Beyond sense of sight, that which we now know
In black and white, science demystify
Our preferences for symmetry and glow.

And yet no magazine can convince me
In glossy centerfold spread, eight by ten,
That what I desire is found in your sea
Of photo manipulated women.

Move past the cliched air-brushed skin appeal,
True beauty is found only in the real.

Photo Challenge

we drink because we’re poets has also issued a photo challenge:

Last week we looked at the Chinese element of Fire…this week we will look at Water…not the Chinese element, which I’ll talk about much later, this time I want just Water.

 

So I would like to humbly submit: water at my house

put words here

Like the cross section of a tree,
You can count the rings
On the sides of my water barrel
Down to the rocks at the bottom.
I’m sure the tomatoes won’t mind
A few rose petals in their drink.

She asked why I believed in angels. I replied, because I've seen them.

She asked why I believed in angels.
I replied, because I’ve seen them.

All the diamonds in the world Would scare suffice When what is longed for Is water and ice.

All the diamonds in the world
Would scare suffice
When what is longed for
Is water and ice.

Rain collects on leaf In the palms of green hands and Strawberry blossoms

Rainfall collected
In the palms of green hands and
Strawberry blossoms

May I interest you in a cup of tea?

May I interest you in a cup of tea?

 

Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Wedding Pawn

Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Wedding Pawn

You are about to get married at the wedding ceremony of your dreams. Absolutely everything has gone perfectly, until the best man says that he pawned the ring a couple of days ago. Write this scene.

“Bad luck to see the bride!” Carla screamed out as she dove behind the changing screen.

“Too late for that,” Maya replied, but chuckled at the duality of the statement.

Carla thought for a moment before sticking her head out from behind the screen.  She first gave a happy sigh and smiled as her eyes fell on Maya’s dress, but then shook her head and pulled herself back to the moment.  “What do you mean ‘too late’?”

“I mean I need you to come out here and sit down,” Maya said pulling her out from her hiding place and sitting her down firmly in an overstuffed chair.  “Now listen, I have good news and I have bad news…”

“You’re backing out on me, aren’t you,” Carla said, already prepared for the worst.

“Don’t be daft,” Maya said and kissed her forehead.  “But we don’t have rings.”

Carla blinked a few times as her mind turned those words over.  Then she set her jaw and folded her arms.  “What do you mean we don’t have rings?  I’ve seen them, we bought them together!”

“Yes… and… a few days ago, Jason pawned them at-” Maya caught Carla around her waist as she stood up, eyes focused on the fire axe beside the emergency exit.  “No no no!  Wait, let me explain!”

“Explain, what’s there to-” Carla narrowed her eyes.  “You knew about this, didn’t you?”

“Look, I asked him to, but-”

“HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?” Carla screamed.

Maya wrapped her arms around her, speaking softly. “Carla, they’re just rings, they’re just symbols.”

“Yes, symbols of our marriage!”  Carla wiggled out of Maya’s arms.  “What are we going to do when we’re told to exchange rings?  Stand there exchanging significant glances and tell her to get on with it?  God, Maya!”

Maya sighed.  “Okay, look, I know I should have told you earlier, I was hoping we’d have them back by now.”

Carla wiped at her eyes, trying desperately not to smear her makeup.  “Dare I even ask what the good news is, then?”

“Actually…” Maya laughed nervously.  “That wasn’t the bad news.”

Carla gaped.  “There’s something worse?”

“Yeah, see, about that.  The bad news was supposed to be we hocked the rings to bail your dad out and then he’d get them back out, right?  Well, now the good news is your dad is out, but the bad news is he skipped town, so…”

“He isn’t walking me down the aisle,” Carla finished, sinking back into the chair, tears dripping down her cheeks now.

“But hey, I have these.”  Maya held up two rings.

Carla took one and looked at it.  “Those are from a quarter machine, aren’t they?”

“Maybe, but look, no one will know from a distance, will they?” Maya took Carla’s hand and tried her best to smile, wiping her fiancé’s tears away.  “We’ll slip these on and in a few weeks we’ll get the real ones back, and-”

“And my dad isn’t coming to my wedding.”

Just then the door flew open and in came Carla’s father, looking like – well, frankly, looking like he’d just been on the run from police for three days.  Jason was close behind him.

“Daddy?!”

“George?”

Carla stammered for words.  “But I thought you-”

“Hey, honey!  I’m sorry I’m late,” her father said.  Carla jumped up to hug him but he demurred.  “Don’t want to get that dress dirty, not with what we paid for it.  Look, you know I wouldn’t miss this day for anything.”

“Oh, Daddy!” Carla was outright crying now, and making no effort to control it.

“Maya, these are for you,” he said, holding out his hand.  Into her palm dropped two perfect diamond rings.  “Sorry for all this.”

“Thank you, George.”  They shook hands and Maya slipped the rings into her pocket.

“Alright, good,” George said. “Look, I’m going to get cleaned up.”

“I love you, Daddy!” Carla said, taking her father’s hands.

He smiled and kissed her cheek.  “I love you, too.”

Jason gave his arm a tug.  “Come on, old man.  Leave Sis to clean up her face, we need to be in place in five!”

The two men left to get George presentable.  Maya helped fix Carla’s makeup, and in five minutes, everyone was ready to go.  Just before Maya left to take her place at the end of the aisle, Carla kissed her softly and said, “This… this is why I love you so much.”

“I know, sweetie,” Maya replied.  “Now come on, we’ll have to bail my mom out after the ceremony.”

Monday Poetry Prompt #10

From we drink because we’re poets Monday Poetry Prompt #10

Prompt: Emulation. Choose a poet whom you favor and emulate their work, from the style/movement (Romantic/Victorian, Urban, Pastorial, Fireside, Beat, etc.), to the genre, concept, form, and even feeling. Break it down as far as you can; study it and, if you dare, expound on it further with your very own voice.

 

To My Dearest William

If I should have a son I’ll name him William Murdock.
William after his father and Murdock after mine.
Now I just need to find a William and marry him.
Or rather, I need to convince William I’m the woman he wants to marry.
I’ve already got him all picked out, just waiting for the right moment to tell him.
And when we meet, this is what I’ll say,

I’ll say, “Sir, you don’t know me, but you really ought to,
And if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to buy you that drink now and tell you why.”
I’ll say, “I’m not the most creative person in the world, but I try.
And I’m not the bravest person in the world, but I try.
And I’m not the nicest person in the world, but I really do try.
And I’m not the prettiest person in the world… and I suppose I have to admit, I really don’t try all that hard because I’ve never thought the paint job was the selling point on a house.
My walls are sturdy and my foundation is strong and my roof leaks from time to time, but that’s okay…
I have buckets.
And if you want me to put on a nice coat of paint, well I suppose I’ll do that for you, because it doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other.  I just want you to be happy.”

I’ll say, “I have a lot of rooms that I’ve furnished with love, and compassion, and even a little heart ache.
I have some rooms that are pretty messy and you might not quite fit in all of them,
And I have some closets, not all of which you’ll want to open right away.”

I’ll say, “I have a garden It’s kind of small, maybe if we tend it together, we can make it bigger.
And don’t worry about your mind being in the gutter, mine is too, that’s why I know what you’re thinking.  And we can do that, too.
And I like it when the power goes out because it reminds me of what is really important in life, and none of it is lost when the power goes out.”

And then I’ll say, “But all this is pretty basic stuff, so let me get down to some real dirt about me.
“I like to make love in the morning and start the day out right, except on mornings when I don’t…
And I like to encourage people to reach for their stars and never give up their dreams,
Even though I don’t always know how to do that.
And I don’t like my momma sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving her.
And just so you know, no, you can’t criticize her the same way I can, I’ve earned that right these thirty years.
But you can stand up to her for me when I’m just too tired to do it myself.”

I’ll say, “I will cook for you, because I really like to cook.
And I really don’t like to clean all that much, but I’ll do that for you, too.
And I am terrified of flying… but I’ll even do that because then I know you’ll never really be all that far away.
I’ll say, “I’ll give up my daddy’s name for you, even though it’s the only one I’ve ever known.
And I will watch stupid movies with you and laugh until our sides hurt,
If you’ll watch sappy movies with me while I cry until I’ve soaked your shirt.
And I will let your friends come over and watch sports, and I’ll serve them beer and chips, but the first time one of them calls me ‘hey, woman!’ I’ll throw him out of my house.

Sometimes I talk a lot for someone who hates the sound of her own voice.
But sometimes I don’t say anything at all, and you might wonder whether I’m really angry… or just really content.
Whichever answer I give, please – at least – believe me.

I will never bring up what you did that night again.

I’ll always forgive you, because no one is perfect.  But it might take me some time, because… no one is perfect.
So let me just say I’m sorry now, and then I’ll always be one apology ahead.
And I won’t just stand beside you, I’ll run beside you, and dance beside you, and sleep beside you in your bed.
And I will paint your name in my eyes and carve you into my bones.”

“But,” I’ll say, “But… more important than anything else… I will always love you.  No matter what, no matter how hard it gets… because I can be a damned stubborn ass sometimes.”
And I’ll say, “So what do you say?  Let’s give it a go.”

And if, after all that, he says to me, “No.”
Then I’ll look shocked, and blush, and say “I am so sorry, Sir, I must have mistaken you for someone else.”

But when I finally meet that one who says yes, “But,” he says, “my name isn’t William.”
Well… then I’ll say, “That’s alright.
We’ll have a daughter instead.”


Inspired by the spoken word poetry of Sarah Kay: If I Should Have A Daughter